Contacting Pension Funds, Charities And Churches

When trying to influence the policy of a pension fund, charity or church, write to the chair of the committee or board that makes policy decisions in relation to the ethics of investments. This will vary according to the institution but for many churches, charities and occupational pensions, it will be the chair of trustees. It helps if you address your concerns to a named person. You may need to research how the trust operates internally, such as whether a sub- committee of trustees deals with these issues.

Share Action, a campaigning group encouraging shareholder engagement, has a web-based facility to make it easier to email your pension fund.

Experiences are very mixed when it comes to garnering support from institutional investors for engagement over ethical concerns. Many are wary of being seen to “rock the boat” or to be part of a “loony fringe”. It is therefore wise to proceed with caution and make sure you are certain of your facts before seeking to influence others. Your letter or phone call may get a fairly general reply, in which case be persistent. If they reply that they will take your issue into account the next time they meet with the company, or the next time the trustees meet, wait a reasonable amount of time and then ask for more information.